New initiative unifies the veterinary profession’s approach to sustainability

A group of UK vets has launched the world’s first organisation dedicated to supporting veterinary professionals and vet led teams in being a leading force for sustainability.
calendar icon 11 July 2020
clock icon 7 minute read

Dr Laura Higham, Vet Sustain founder, said the social enterprise will provide a platform for the veterinary community to come together and take collective action.

“Our profession already delivers a wide range of sustainability services to society,” explained Higham. “We understand the inextricable links between human, animal and environmental well-being. But it’s time for our influence and duty to reach beyond the patients under our care, to all animals that are impacted by human activity.”

Dr Simon Doherty, a director of Vet Sustain and senior vice president of the British Veterinary Association, said that veterinary professionals occupy an “extraordinary niche” for driving the sustainability agenda. “By taking steps such as reducing the carbon footprint of our veterinary operations, ensuring responsible medicine use and supporting regenerative forms of agriculture and aquaculture, vets can address the environmental and ethical impacts of our own activities and the sectors we influence.”

The organisation is currently focused on three key topics through their working groups: food and farming, sustainability in veterinary education and the environmental footprints of veterinary practices. By embedding and mainstreaming sustainability planning and action into the veterinary agenda, Higham is confident that Vet Sustain can support veterinary professionals to become a leading force for sustainability.

“To support a sustainable future, we must tackle climate change, and promote healthy and biodiverse ecosystems,” Higham continued. “The COVID-19 pandemic has given a recent stark reminder of the importance of protecting nature to also protect humanity.”

Individuals and organisations interested in finding out more or supporting the growing organisation are encouraged to visit the Vet Sustain website, follow on social media or contact Laura Higham at: [email protected]

Dr Laura Higham, Vet Sustain founder, said the social enterprise will provide a platform for the veterinary community to come together and take collective action.

“Our profession already delivers a wide range of sustainability services to society,” explained Higham. “We understand the inextricable links between human, animal and environmental well-being. But it’s time for our influence and duty to reach beyond the patients under our care, to all animals that are impacted by human activity.”

Dr Simon Doherty, a director of Vet Sustain and senior vice president of the British Veterinary Association, said that veterinary professionals occupy an “extraordinary niche” for driving the sustainability agenda. “By taking steps such as reducing the carbon footprint of our veterinary operations, ensuring responsible medicine use and supporting regenerative forms of agriculture and aquaculture, vets can address the environmental and ethical impacts of our own activities and the sectors we influence.”

The organisation is currently focused on three key topics through their working groups: food and farming, sustainability in veterinary education and the environmental footprints of veterinary practices. By embedding and mainstreaming sustainability planning and action into the veterinary agenda, Higham is confident that Vet Sustain can support veterinary professionals to become a leading force for sustainability.

“To support a sustainable future, we must tackle climate change, and promote healthy and biodiverse ecosystems,” Higham continued. “The COVID-19 pandemic has given a recent stark reminder of the importance of protecting nature to also protect humanity.”

Individuals and organisations interested in finding out more or supporting the growing organisation are encouraged to visit the Vet Sustain website, follow on social media or contact Laura Higham at: [email protected]

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